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Barbara Bush Quotes

Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush quotes: former First Lady’s quotes on learning, reading, friends, family, politics, and life.

“You just don’t luck into things as much as you’d like to think you do.  You build step by step, whether it’s friendships or opportunities.”

“When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”

“You have two choices in life: you can like what you do, or you can dislike it.  I have chosen to like it.”

“Your success as a family… our success as a nation… depends not on what happens inside the White House, but on what happens inside your house.”

“Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people – your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

“Why be afraid of what people will say?  Those who care about you will say, ‘Good luck!’  And those who care only about themselves will never say anything worth listening to anyway.”

“Believe in something larger than yourself.  Get involved in the big ideas of your time.”

“Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.”

“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.”

“I hate the fact that people think ‘compromise’ is a dirty word.”

“One of the many things we have learned in all our travels is that it’s the people who count.  Most people everywhere are interesting, and if you can’t find a friend, then maybe there is something wrong with you.”

“Study hard, work hard, and play hard, too.”

“Everything I worry about would be better if more people could read, write, and comprehend.”

“Learning never ends, and as we enter the next century, it will be more and more important for all Americans to be lifelong learners.  Every one of us can contribute in some way to a better-educated America.”

“Libraries have always seemed like the richest places in the world to me, and I’ve done some of my best learning and thinking thanks to them.  Libraries and librarians have definitely changed my life, and the lives of countless other Americans.”

“The home is the child’s first school, the parent is the child’s first teacher, and reading is the child’s first subject.”

“You know, sit with your arm around a little kid and read.  It not only teaches them to read but it keeps the family strong.”

“The darn trouble with cleaning the house is it gets dirty the next day anyway, so skip a week if you have to.  The children are the most important thing.”

“If more people could read, write, and comprehend, we could be much closer to solving so many of the other problems our country faces today.”

“You have to love your children unselfishly.  That’s hard.  But it’s the only way.”

“I may be the only mother in America who knows exactly what their child is up to all the time.”

“I think togetherness is a very important ingredient to family life.”

“A question I’m asked all the time: did anyone tell you what to do, or give you any guidelines, when your husband was in government?  The answer is no.  Certainly I was given advice on protocol, and occasionally on what to wear or not to wear, but, for the most part, I just depended on the manners my mother taught me.”

“What you see with me is what you get.  I’m not running for president.  George Bush is.”

“I like to be fit.  My personality is such that I like to drive myself, I like to work hard.”

“Avoid this crowd like the plague.  And if they quote you, make damn sure they heard you.”

“The butlers loved trying to make me guess whose china I was using.  Imagine being served a meal on dishes that Abraham Lincoln ate from!”

“And who knows?  Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president’s spouse.  I wish him well!”

“Show me a wife who doesn’t offer advice and I’ll show you one who doesn’t care very much.”

“You get nothing done if you don’t listen to each other.”

“I married the first man I ever kissed.  When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.”

“Value your friendship.  Value your relationships.”

“I’m not a competitive person, and I think women like me because they don’t think I’m competitive, just nice.”

“My worst expectations never happened.”

“I feel a little like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz who suddenly discovers he had a brain all along.  He just didn’t have a piece of paper to prove it.”

“Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.”

“Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life’s blood… but everyone has something to give.”

“Bias has to be taught.  If you hear your parents downgrading women or people of different backgrounds, why, you are going to do that.”

“The Titanic was built by professionals.  The Ark was built by volunteers.”

“People who worry about their hair all the time, frankly, are boring.”

“Never ask anyone over 70 how they feel.  They’ll tell you.”

“Whether you are talking about education, career, or service, you are talking about life.  And life must really have joy.  It’s supposed to be fun.”

“Love brings a tear.  Friends bring a tear.  A smile, sweetness, even a kind word brings a tear.  In a life of privilege there are lots of tears.”

“Not bad to have had a life that was filled with wonderful people and happenings, precious family, and many close friends.”

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal.  You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”

Also see John F. Kennedy’s quotes.

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